Published September 15, 2021
About a dozen members of the Knight of Columbus in Hot Springs prepared breakfast Sept. 10 for more than 1,100 Garland County first responders to honor them and their work on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Joe Giompoletti, coordinator of the breakfast for Knights of Columbus Council 6419, said it was the fifth year that breakfast has been served to firefighters, law enforcement officers, ambulance personnel and hospital workers. He said most of the breakfasts are delivered to their workplaces, but first responders were also served breakfast at the St. Mary Church parish hall where the meals were prepared.
“This breakfast is to honor the first responders for the work they do for us every day,” Giompoletti said.
“They are deeply appreciative of the breakfast that was provided to them,” said Garland County Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff Jason Lawrence. “The work that was done for them cannot be measured in words.”
The Knights began work about 1:30 a.m. warming up stoves to cook about 30 gallons of scrambled eggs, 1,400 sausage patties, 150 pounds of ham, 16 gallons of gravy and 1,300 biscuits.
The breakfast was paid for with one-day special collections totaling $3,800 from St. John the Baptist and St. Mary of the Springs churches, Giompoletti said.
Joe Reyna, a Knight who is a retired police chief from the Houston area, said he enjoyed getting up early and cooking sausage on a flat top grill.
“I support people in law enforcement 150 percent,” Reyna said. “I’ll do anything I can do for them. When 9/11 occurred, they were there for everyone.”
Council 6419 was honored by the Hot Springs City Board of Directors Sept. 7 as part of a proclamation creating First Responder Appreciation Weekend by including the work done by Knights to provide breakfast and prayer for all first responders.